Working with Oppositional, Defiant and Disruptive Children and Adolescents

Presented by Caroline Buzanko, Ph.D., R. Psych

Live Streaming May 29 - 30, 2024


12 Hours  |   Pre-approved for CEU’s


This workshop will be live streaming to online participants on May 29 – 30, 2024 from 8:30am – 4:00pm PT (Vancouver, BC)
Please adjust your start time according to your specific time zone. 

Recorded footage and all course content (certificate, videos, quiz) will be available until July 1, 2024. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances.
Please allow 3 – 5 business days after the course airs for recorded footage to become available.

Registration will close on May 28, 2024. 

In today’s complex world, most children and adolescents experience ups and downs and engage in challenging behaviours from time to time. However, these behaviours become problematic when they occur frequently and begin to impair daily functioning. The prevalence of emotional and behavioural issues in young individuals has surged, often without adequate support, leading to potential long-term consequences for their well-being and development.

Early intervention and treatment are crucial to support the social, emotional, and behavioural wellbeing of children and adolescents and reduce future risks. However, many are unsure how to provide effective help, particularly in the heat of the moment.

Are you ready to make a profound difference in the lives of children and adolescents facing intense behavioural challenges? This dynamic workshop is a must for anyone seeking effective strategies to understand, prevent, and respond to oppositional, defiant, and disruptive behaviours.

Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills needed to transform challenging behaviours into opportunities for growth and success. Establish a solid foundation for addressing these behaviours effectively with practical strategies and interventions. Even more importantly, learn how to guide children and adolescents toward positive choices while promoting their resilience and emotional well-being.

Don’t miss this opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of children and adolescents facing oppositional, defiant, and disruptive challenges. Join us for this comprehensive workshop and be the change they need.

Day 1: Building Understanding and Setting the Stage for Success

Conceptualizing Behaviours

  • Developmentally appropriate behaviours.
  • Understanding the adaptive function of behaviours.
  • Exploring the roles of emotions in behaviour.
  • Identifying the limitations of traditional behavioural strategies.
  • Depathologizing oppositional and defiant behaviours.
  • Recognizing the sources, signs, and impact of stress on functioning.
  • The threat response and perceived lack of emotional safety.

Understanding ODD

  • Understanding oppositional and defiant behaviours.
  • Identifying comorbid diagnoses.
  • Exploring the nature vs. nurture debate in behaviour.
  • Identifying the #1 predictor for developing ODD and other contributing factors.
  • Addressing the traps adults fall into that make behaviours worse.
  • Considering trauma, sensory issues, and medical precipitants.
  • Examining the influence of family dynamics, home environment, and academic settings.
  • Exploring the impact of low self-esteem, mood lability, and frustration tolerance.
  • Investigating the role of anxiety in ODD.

Self-Regulation Pyramid & Setting the Stage for Success

  • Understanding self regulation as the foundation for behaviour.
  • Examining the interconnected domains of behaviour and self regulation.
  • Identifying self regulation difficulties, sensory sensitivities, and related issues.
  • Differentiating between misbehaviour and stress behaviour.
  • Broadening the clinical view by considering multiple systems.
  • Structuring the environment to encourage self-regulation.
  • Building strong connections and safety.
  • Using nonviolent and responsive communication and being an effective emotion coach.
  • Strategies for handling adult misbehaviour.
  • Essentials for co-regulation and establishing the three C’s.
  • Learning trauma-informed approaches to address behaviours.


Day 2: Strategies for Empowerment and Positive Change

Promoting Resilience and Skill Development

  • Strengthening emotional intelligence.
  • Boosting resilience, problem-solving, and conflict management.
  • Flipping vulnerability to positive experiences.
  • Developing mindfulness, flexibility, and tolerance.

Functional Behaviour Analysis

  • Understanding the subjective reactions to events that trigger behaviours.
  • Exploring the basic functions of behaviour.
  • Analyzing psychological functions and needs that drive all misbehaviour.
  • How to address attention-seeking, power struggles, and revenge.

Motivational Schemes and Setting Events

  • Discussing the significance of motivational schemes beyond ABC analysis.
  • Understanding the role of setting events and mood in behaviour.
  • How to change the value of consequences and address the question “Why now?”
  • Strategies for dealing with impulsive behaviours.

Proactive Strategies

  • Implementing proactive approaches to prevent disruptive behaviours.
  • Positive reinforcement and behaviour management techniques.
  • Empowering students to make positive choices and take responsibility for their behaviour
  • Establishing clear expectations

Reactive Strategies & Crisis Management

  • The cycle of escalation and managing crisis situations
  • Strategies for teaching alternative behaviours.
  • Reactive strategies and responding effectively in the heat of an emotional or behavioural outburst.
  • Balancing proactive and reactive strategies.
  • Effective consequences.

Promoting Prosocial Emotions and Social Success

  • Using the strengths of the emotional brain to manage behaviours.
  • Addressing peer bias and promoting compatibility
  • Recognizing and addressing peer bias.

By the end of this two-day training, participants will be able to:

  •  Understand the adaptive function of behaviours and the role of emotions.
  • Recognize the limitations of traditional strategies and reframe oppositional and defiant behaviours.
  • Identify contributing factors, including the impact of stress, in behaviour development.
  • Explain trauma-informed approaches in addressing behaviours.
  • Establish a foundation for supporting self-regulation.
  • Develop nonviolent, responsive communication skills as effective emotion coaches.
  • Strengthen emotional intelligence, resilience, flexibility, and conflict management skills.
  • Understand the basic psychological functions and needs behind behaviour.
  • Discuss the significance of motivational schemes and setting events.
  • Implement proactive and reactive strategies for effective behavioural management.
  • Manage the cycle of escalation and respond effectively to crises.
  • Promote prosocial emotions and social success.

Education and Clinical Professionals: All education and mental health or healthcare professionals who work with children or youth including, but not limited to K–12 Classroom Teachers, School Counsellors, Learning Assistance/Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers • All other professionals who support behavioural challenges and complex learning needs including but not limited to: Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counsellors, Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Addiction Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Probation Officers and Community Police Officers.

Caroline Buzanko, Ph.D., R. Psych, is a Psychologist. Mother. International Speaker. Yoda of Anxiety. Neurodivergent Superhero. Changer of Lives. She is a dynamic force in the field of psychology, dedicating nearly three decades to transforming the lives of children, teens, and their families. With a dedicated commitment to fostering deep connections, instilling unwavering confidence, igniting motivation, and building resilience in the face of challenges, Dr. Buzanko’s mission is clear: to ensure that every child and teenager receive the understanding and support they deserve.

Renowned for her expertise in the assessment and support of anxiety, ADHD, ASD, learning, and behavioural challenges, Dr. Buzanko stands as a trusted ally, advocate, and go-to authority. Dr. Buzanko’s research pursuits delve into the realms of resilience and growth, directly informing her clinical approach and resulting in innovative training programs and workshops that have transformed the practices of countless educators, caregivers, allied mental health professionals, and medical doctors.

Dr. Caroline Buzanko is a captivating speaker and anyone who attends her workshops can expect to be enlightened, inspired, and equipped with practical strategies to empower the children and teens they work with. Together, let’s create a world where every child thrives and embraces their full potential.

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual Enrollment469.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

Group rates and student rates are available. Please contact for more information.

  • Canadian Psychological Association
    The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) accept CPA-approved continuing education credits